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William Ifeanyi Moore: Understanding the Need for Communication in Relationships

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Considering that human’s spend most our waking moments communicating, in fact, one can argue that mastery of communication is synonymous to mastery of emotional intelligence, it is quite startling that we place little or no emphasis at all on the study of communication. . Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote two books on language and communication where in a nutshell, he explained that language works by painting contextual pictures in our mind. He said the problem with communicating starts from the speaker who isn’t even completely sure of what he or she is trying to communicate. A typical example is when we say stuff like ‘I need space’. We cannot necessarily tell you what we mean in definitive terms, but we hope the person we are speaking to somehow get the picture. Then there is also the problem with the listener who can get ‘the wrong picture’. For example, someone might say, ‘You never help out around the house’. Our initial reaction might be to run through a list of all the things we’ve been doing in the house or cite other contributions we make in the relationship that we feel should exempt us from domestic chores. But really the speaker is just trying to say they are under a lot of stress and will appreciate more help around the house.

As relationships grow, and become more centered on managing emotional situations, the need for serious study into this field cannot be over-emphasized. Moreover, besides the need for good communication in a relationship, this life skill is transferable and will help in maintaining all forms of relationships: from friendships to family ties. You will be surprised how people miss calls for help, cries of feelings of abandonment or negligence, because of our inability to understand how communication works. It is only after things reach the point of no return that we start to look back and recall instances where we should have known something was wrong.

Unfortunately, there is something about African cultures that doesn’t generally encourage constant self-improvement by way of study. I guess you can say compared to other places, we don’t have a very strong reading culture. For a lot of men, self-improvement constitutes of the acquisition of wealth, and for women it is keeping in shape (forgive the generalization). If we hope to stand any chance in a world where we could even be suffering from a problem of over-communication with a million social apps on our phones, the least we can do is put some effort into studying how it works.

It is probably impossible to completely master the art of communication. We struggle with understanding ourselves perfectly as it is. Understanding others totally, is out of the question. But we owe it to ourselves to at least try as much as possible to first understand ourselves. Then through understanding our nature, we stand a better chance at understanding others.
Even in times of trouble, a communication skill like ‘conflict resolution’ can go a long way to calming down the situation.
There is also the communication of positive criticism. For example, you might want your partner to try a different look. Saying you dislike their current look then suggesting your favored alternative might be seen as communicating an honest opinion and you wanting better for them. But your partner is likely to translate this as an attack on their own sense of style, and you trying to be controlling by imposing what you think is best for them. You could have easily said something like: ‘I like this your style, but somewhere in my head I have this fantasy of you wearing X.Y.Z’.

You’d be surprised just how much of a difference good communication can make to your relationship and life in general. If you are considering the option of self-improvement, the art of communication might be a place to start.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Wavebreakmedia Ltd

William Ifeanyi Moore is an MPharm graduate from the University of Portsmouth, UK. His true passion is in novels and poetry but he cheats on them with movies, plays, and music. He believes sacrifice and compromise is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. His debut novel Lonely Roads is out on 10/12/2015. Blog: www.soulsyrup.space Twitter: @willifmoore Instagram: willifmoore

14 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    June 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    If we hope to stand any chance in a world where we could even be suffering from a problem of over-communication with a million social apps on our phones, the least we can do is put some effort into studying how it works.

  2. nwa papa

    June 24, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Communication is probably one of the toughest skill sets to master. When there’s a dialogue between individuals, we’re typically listening to reply and not listening to understand what’s being said.
    Unfortunately, most of us are poor communicators, when you have a partner where both have worked on their communication skills the flow of information is effortlessly..

  3. miss about to check out

    June 24, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Please what if you’re making all the effort to discuss obvious changes in your relationship and mr man keeps acting like everything is normal and you should just get with it…. things like going from talking bout 5 times daily when apart, to talking once or twice… from daily visits to like twice weekly, no more praying together, no more in depth gisting about nothing really…..u know all those extras…. some days feel quite mechanical….and after hurting and talking, I have slowly started checking out! The explanation I’ve got is ‘- its all pressure’…. and this explanation I basically had to wring out from him… I mean I dont expect fantasy n fairytales everyday, but I expect effort especially when the issues have been identified….

    Brother William, am I reaching for the stars here?

    • William

      June 24, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Unfortunately, both parties have to be willing to make it work and work on themselves. When it is only one person putting in all the work, eventually they run out of juice. The whole point of self-improvement is to prepare yourself for someone that has also been working on their self too, That way you are both on the same plane and it’s easier to manage things and resolve issues. It appears to me women are naturally better at communicating, my sister, a good man is the only thing more scarce than fuel right now. I apologize for my gender 🙁

  4. toyin

    June 24, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    sounds like my husband

  5. Tos

    June 25, 2015 at 8:36 am

    *a good man is the only thing more scarce than fuel right now* lol…word!

  6. ACE

    June 25, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Nice write up, am struggling with this right now. I think I need to read books on these

  7. anonymous

    June 25, 2015 at 9:37 am

    honestly this is where i am at the moment and it is killing me, i feel like i talk too much now so i have resolved to keep to myself……i answer when questions are asked, i won’t initiate any conversation cos he is absent for a better part. This thing is killing me cos i am excited at work but i find myself coiling back to myself when he is almost home for work.

  8. vien

    June 25, 2015 at 10:13 am

    NICE

  9. naana

    June 25, 2015 at 11:19 am

    had a communication issue with my man who happens to be the quite type and i on the other hand the chatter box.
    so i asked him questions like
    * do i bother you with my calls and texts- no he answered
    *do i talk too much- no he answered
    after asking him several other questions he told me he will work on it and he is.
    there is no need to attack the partner but to let him/her know the effect of lack of communication in your relationship.
    and remember communication is not only about having great conversations but expressing our emotions as well.
    remember communication is a work in progress affair.

  10. Missy

    June 25, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Me I checked out ooo after I saw it wasn’t working. We talked lyk 5times a day until it reduced to once a day or 2days.. I asked him so many times wat the matter was nd he refused to talk trying to act like its normal nd nothing is happening. When mr man finally talked on monday he said it was see finish as a result of lack of communication chei I almst died frm heartbreak,I felt the pain in my chest nd I didn’t imagine it. Relationship that is barely 4months,we had seen only 3times nd he said he had seen me finish. I checked out immediately cs I felt no hope nd he didn’t make any sense with that excuse.

  11. pashegz

    June 25, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    honestly i feel that communication is one of the most important elements of compatibility in a relationship, understanding is built from constant communication and love is groomed by good understanding… i hope that makes sense

  12. Chingy

    June 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    This article jus speaks of my relationship at d moment. I have been worried and kip asking my sef wat I am not doing right. From 90 percent communication to 40, from 4 calls a day to barely one. When I try to communicate about d dying communication , he discharges it. I attributed it to buisness problems but think am wrong cos he communicates with his friends excitedly. I asked recently do u need space to review the relationship and make a decision, maybe we r on a fast train . He said he is fyn and I am ova reacting. Me don tire o. Can’t kip blabbing Al d tym to myself Na Abi? . Men r d ones who have problem with communication and they are at their worse when they stop feeling their partner.

  13. MY STORY

    June 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Met guy 2 years …the first thing i noticed was he DOESNT CALL /CHECK UP ON ME except i do …started making excuses for him ,when i couldnt take it anymore had to talk to him about it ,we were good for a week and suddenly back to status quo .I deleted BBM ,WHATSAPP, FB just because i needed him to communicate with me the normal way ,still same story except i call..So i stopped calling and noticed he didnt bother to even check up on me like a month ,i got the message ,kept away thinking i could fight off emotions ,he came back begging crying etc took him back ,Pronto we were back on the same track ,got bad i even had to look out for his mood before i could raise anything with him.i re-analysed the entire situation …moved on ,he came back again begging this time it was different because i have actually MOVED ON and unto better stuffs .Its a difficult place to find yourself but its not worth patching and staying unhappy .

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